The curriculum A Global Controversy: The U.S. Invasion of Iraq provides an overview of Iraqi history and draws students into the public debate on the U.S. decision to invade Iraq in 2003. Students assess the war's impact in the United States, Iraq, and beyond, and consider its implications for the public's role in future foreign policy decisions.

Videos for Readings: The videos below follow the outline of the printed curriculum unit. The headings correspond to the headings in the student readings.

Videos for Lessons accompany lessons in the teacher's guide of the printed curriculum unit.

Scholars Online: Videos for Readings

A Global Controversy: The U.S. Invasion of Iraq

Jarat Chopra
Brown University

P. Terrence Hopmann
Brown University

Senator Jack Reed (D-RI)
Senator Jack Reed
U.S. Senate

Les Roberts
Les Roberts
Columbia University

Charles Tripp University of London

Catherine Lutz
Brown University

Thomas M. Nichols United States Naval War College

Ricardo Lagos
Ricardo Lagos
Former President of Chile

Madeline Campbell
Madeline Campbell
Brown University

Introduction: The Largest Protest in History

Part I: A Brief History of Iraq

Who lives in Iraq and how have ethnic and religious differences shaped Iraqi history? [Charles Tripp – 2:36]

Iraq's Early History

How was Great Britain involved in the creation of Iraq? [Charles Tripp - 2:37]

What was the legacy of British imperialism in Iraq? [Charles Tripp – 1:58]

How has oil affected the history of Iraq? [Charles Tripp – 2:05]

Iraq Under Saddam Hussein

How did Saddam Hussein come to power? [Charles Tripp – 1:58]

What was life like under Saddam Hussein? [Charles Tripp – 2:45]

How did Iraqis regard Saddam Hussein? [Charles Tripp – 2:46]

What was Iraq's foreign policy like during Saddam Hussein's rule? [Charles Tripp – 3:42]

Why did many refugees leave Iraq during Saddam Hussein's rule? [Madeline Campbell - 2:14]

The First Persian Gulf War

How was the use of military force to protect civilians in northern Iraq in 1991 significant? [Jarat Chopra – 1:25]

How has U.S. involvement with Iraq shifted over time? [Charles Tripp – 3:44]

How have Iraqi attitudes toward the United States changed over time? [Charles Tripp – 3:44]

Part II: From Containment to Regime Change

How did UN inspections in the 1990s affect Iraq's weapons program? [Charles Tripp – 2:10]


Why did the UN impose sanctions on Iraq from 1990 to 2003? [Charles Tripp – 2:00]

What were the effects of sanctions on Iraq? [Charles Tripp – 2:28]

A Policy of Regime Change

A New Security Strategy

What is the difference between preemptive and preventive war? [Thomas Nichols – 1:10]

What are examples of preemptive and preventive military action? [Thomas Nichols – 1:08]

What are the pros and cons of using preventive military action? [Thomas Nichols – 1:57]

The Road to War

What motivated the Bush administration to invade Iraq? [Charles Tripp – 2:15]

What motivated the Bush administration to invade Iraq? [Senator Jack Reed – 2:39]

What was the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq's WMD programs? [Senator Jack Reed – 2:04]

How does the United States decide if it will go to war? [Senator Jack Reed – 1:16]

What was H.J. Resolution 114 and who wrote it? [Senator Jack Reed – 0:56]

Did anyone attempt to amend the resolution? [Senator Jack Reed – 1:15]

What was the climate like in the Senate on October 11, 2002, the day of the vote? [Senator Jack Reed – 1:23]

Why did you choose to vote against the resolution to authorize force against Iraq? [Senator Jack Reed – 2:48]

Why do you think so few of your fellow senators voted against the resolution? [Senator Jack Reed – 1:15]

Did the U.S. media accurately portray the situation in Iraq leading up to the 2003 invasion? [Charles Tripp – 1:26]

Moment of Decision: Early March, 2003

What did the British public think of their government's decision to invade Iraq? [Charles Tripp – 2:06]

Do you think that British and U.S. leaders had a good understanding of Iraqi history when they decided to go to war? [Charles Tripp – 3:38]

What is your perspective on the U.S. "War on Terror"? [Ricardo Lagos – 1:13]

Part III: The War in Iraq

The Invasion

The Occupation

What have you observed during your visits to Iraq? [Senator Jack Reed – 3:59]

How has the 2003 invasion of Iraq fueled terrorism? [P. Terrence Hopmann – 1:21]

Effects of the War


To what extent has the 2003 invasion created opportunities for political change in Iraq? [Charles Tripp – 3:01]

What purpose do civilian casualty counts serve, and why are they so controversial? [Les Roberts – 1:09]

Whose responsibility is it to conduct casualty counts in Iraq? [Les Roberts – 0:59]

What was the Lancet study? [Les Roberts – 2:07]

How precise were your estimates of civilian casualties in Iraq? [Les Roberts – 2:11]

What were the findings of your studies in Iraq? [Les Roberts – 2:23]

How were your findings received? [Les Roberts – 1:27]

Why have estimates on casualties in Iraq varied so widely? [Les Roberts – 1:42]

How can casualty counts influence policy and public opinion? [Les Roberts – 2:53]

How did Iraqis' attitudes towards the U.S. occupation change after the Abu Ghraib scandal? [Michael Otterman – 1:01]

What are the arguments against the use of torture? [Michael Otterman – 2:41]

Why has the use of the term "torture" been controversial? [Michael Otterman – 1:09]

How did embedded journalism impact the coverage of the war? [Michael Otterman – 2:16]

*The United States

What are the biggest challenges that Iraq War veterans face upon returning to the United States? [Senator Jack Reed – 1:29]

How are the Iraq and Afghanistan wars different from previous U.S. wars? [Catherine Lutz - 1:53]

What did you find out about the rates of casualties amongst U.S. soldiers and contractors? [Catherine Lutz - 1:27]

What have been the largest costs of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars? [Catherine Lutz - 3:15]